BGM: Doki Doki Literature Club! (modified - no "Doki Doki!" at the beginning)
: "I mean...if it's going to be anyone, then I prefer helping Sayori. I mean, we're already neighbors, and--"
: But Monika said--"
: Monika said that Sayori was helping her! Jeez..."
You wouldn't even look at my poem ten minutes ago, Natsuki. Don't try to make ME feel like a jerk for caring about others.
: Sorry, I didn't mean for this to be difficult..."
Might as well help the boss, then.
: "Well, I guess I should probably be helping Monika..."
: Yay, you picked me!"
BGM: Music fades out.
: Hold on one second!"
BGM: Poem Panic!
: Eh? But..."
: I agree with Natsuki. Not only is your work already most suitable for one person...but you already have Sayori as well."
To be fair, 'designing and assembling pamphlets' isn't really a three-person job.
: But Mitayo was the one who...ah..."
: That doesn't matter. You were the one who scared him into picking you in the first place. You're the club president, Monika."
: Monika, you shouldn't let any ulterior motives interfere with this decision."
: Ulterior motives? W-What are you saying, Yuri? In fact, it sounds like you guys are the ones with ulterior motives!"
: Excuse me?"
: Otherwise...this wouldn't have been made into such a big deal in the first place!"
: That's...completely false, Monika!"
: Yeah! We have a lot of work to do, you know! We won't do as good of a job if you make us work alone."
: Ah...maybe...that's true..."
: Think of the club, Monika...if we want our event to succeed, then we need to appropriately distribute our resources."
: Okay, okay! I get it!"
BGM: Music fades out.
: Sigh...it's...technically most logical for Mitayo to help one of you two. So...I guess...that's what we'll do."
BGM: Doki Doki Literature Club! (modified - no "Doki Doki!" at the beginning)
You know, we could solve this by all going to the same place to work together but nooooo, gotta have dramatic tension.
: "Well, I'll probably be most useful helping out Yuri..."
: Are you serious? Why would you--"
: Natsuki. I can already tell you're about to say something mean."
"I can tell because your mouth is open."
: N-No...I was just saying--"
: So, you'll be helping Yuri then, Mitayo?"
: "Yeah. That's what I'm going to do."
: I have a bad habit of overthinking these sorts of things...so I think your assistance will be very useful."
I want to make sure the decorations for the festival aren't just large posters that ask if the other other students hate us.
: That's great to hear. Natsuki, will you be able to handle the baking yourself?"
: I mean, yeah. I already said I would be fine."
: Okay, okay..."
Everyone can tell that Natsuki is feeling a little sour.
You don't even like us!
: "So...is that everything we needed to go over?"
: Yeah, that should be about it. Are you guys excited?"
: Well, 'excited' may not be the right word...but I suppose I'm looking forward to it a little bit."
: Do you feel the same way, Mitayo?"
: "Me? Ah, I guess you could say I'm interested to see how it'll turn out..."
: That's good enough for me! What about you, Natsuki?"
: Why is everyone yelling at me? I didn't even do anything...!"
: N-no--! That's not what I meant at all! A-Ah..."
Yuri anxiously glances between everyone in the room.
: I-I'm sorry for this! I don't really know why Mitayo picked me..."
Wait, what the hell? Yes you do! We've done nothing BUT pick you the entire time we've been here!
: And also...your cupcakes are the best cupcakes I've ever had! They go really well with my tea! And nothing that I do for the event will compare to that, so...so..."
Gonna be honest, I kind of want a cupcake now.
: I get it, I get it. I'm kinda surprised, though..."
: Um...well, I'm the one acting immature...I already know that."
This is an interesting sidebar. Natsuki is actually self-aware of what a brat she's being. This can be considered progress!
: I-I know I'm not very good at it...I'm sorry if I said something bad!"
Natsuki isn't the only one surprised. Monika and I are also taken aback by Yuri's words. When she already has trouble with words, trying to cheer someone up must be far out of her own comfort zone. But I begin to understand.
Yuri was trying to sound like Sayori.
Even if it didn't work perfectly, I can tell that she tried to say something Sayori would say at a time like this. Because Sayori always helps everyone smile and feel good about themselves.
Sayori does certainly bring a balance to the group. When she's not here, the loss is noticed.
: No...I kinda appreciated it. I'm sorry...for making a big deal out of nothing. But I'm going to say this."
: You better bet that my cupcakes are going to be the best part of the whole event!"
Compared to reciting poetry from a stage, I wholeheartedly agree with her.
: Ah...I believe you."
: But with that...there's nothing more for today. So I guess it's time for us to head out."
: Alright, let's get out of here, then."
Everyone packs up their things. I start to follow Monika and Natsuki out the door as they chat between each other.
BGM: Music fades out.
I turn around.
BGM: Play With Me!
: "Oh, you're right. I can't believe that slipped my mind. Should I give you my phone number?"
: I think...that would be the best way, yes."
: "Alright, then..."
Yuri and I exchange phone numbers.
Aww, yeah, girl. Gimme dem' digits.
: Okay. Then, I'll be stopping by your house on Sunday..."
...won't you need my address too, then?
: "Eh? My house?"
: I-Is that a problem...?"
: "No, not at all...I just thought that I would be the one going to your house, since I'm the one helping you."
: Ah, I suppose that makes sense..."
: I think I would prefer going to your house."
I mean, whatever. It doesn't really matter, I guess.
: "Alright. In that case, it won't be a problem."
I decide not to press Yuri for a reason. It's not like it should matter much either way, so I'll just need to make sure my room is clean.
: "I hope I manage to make myself useful in some way...I'm not nearly as creative as you are."
: Don't underestimate yourself, Mitayo. I think that we'll make a very productive team. Even if you only chose me because you felt bad or something..."
: "Wait...! You don't actually think that, do you?"
You overwhelming won the vote, Yuri. Don't sell yourself short here.
: ...I...don't know. It's difficult to come up with any other reason you may have chosen me..."
I can think of two very big reasons.
I'm sorry, was that crass? I don't have much more time to make silly boob jokes so I need to press them in whenever possible.
: "You're forgetting the one reason with the most common sense! I chose to help you because that's what I want to do."
"And also because the game didn't let me pick Sayori or Monika. But mostly because I wanted to!"
Yuri thinks to herself with an extremely tense expression.
: "Yuri...you're overthinking this. You wanted me to point out when you're overthinking, right?"
: "I'm telling you, I want to. That's all there is to it. Do you believe me?"
Yuri thinks really hard again. She looks straight into my eyes for a long while.
: ...I believe you!"
As if it took her tremendous effort, Yuri finally says that and relaxes her expression.
: And I'm really looking forward to Sunday."
Wait a second, I just thought of something. Can't I just work with Natsuki on Saturday...? Why did I have to choose in the first place?
: "Yeah...I am too."
After that exchange, I make my way out the door, and Yuri follows.
Yuri is going to be coming to my house on Sunday...? Even though I would have preferred to do this with Sayori...my anxiety still shoots through the roof. I guess I've gotten pretty used to handling her at this point...but who knows what might end up happening when we're outside of school? She even told me she was looking forward to it...
I shake my head. Why do I feel nervous that Sayori finds out about this? It's not like we feel that way about each other...besides, like Monika said, this is about the club. I have nothing to worry about.
Besides, we're making decorations, not frenching.
BGM: Music fades out.
I've been getting increasingly anxious about Yuri's upcoming visit. I keep telling myself there's no reason to be nervous, but it doesn't help much. Yuri is clearly an introvert and also an intimate person in general. There's no doubt that she'll open up a little bit when it's just the two of us. Meanwhile, we've even been texting occasionally. She was extremely apprehensive at first, but it wasn't long before I was already learning more about her.
But putting Yuri aside...I haven't heard a thing from Sayori since she left club early the other day. It's not like we text each other all the time or anything...but I've been worried about her in the back of my mind. Between what Sayori said, and what Monika said...Is it really okay for me to put Sayori's feelings aside when she might need me?
Regardless of the fact that we haven't been macking on Sayori, she is still our best friend.
Rather than asking, I simply tell her "I'm coming over", much like we've done in the past. Once I reach Sayori's house, I knock on the door before entering it myself. Again, we used to play so often that we've made it a habit of simply entering each other's houses like we were family.
And no one locks their door, apparently.
The house is quiet. Sayori isn't anywhere on the first floor, so I assume she's up in her room. It's already strange of her not to run down and greet me. I head up to her bedroom, where I finally find her.
BGM: My Confession **New!**
: Hi Mitayo~"
I sit down in her room. Sayori forces a smile, but it's easy to tell that she's different. There's a minute of silence between us.
This is our first view of Sayori out of her school uniform. It's hard to tell behind the text box, but she's wearing short shorts. I forgot to get a better screenshot here, but don't worry - we'll get a much better view in a couple of updates.
: "Ah... I guess you're right. It has been a long time. Not much has really changed, has it?"
Sayori's room is as messy as it's always been. I also recognize the same stuffed animals and wall decorations that she's had for years now.
I like the duck-thing in the back there.
: Ehehe~ If you came over more often, it wouldn't be such a mess."
: "That's because I end up cleaning it for you..."
: How come you suddenly wanted to come over today? Aren't you supposed to see Yuri today?"
: "Yeah, but...wait, how did you know that?"
Sayori had already left by the time we decided that last meeting."
: Monika told me. It's only natural for her to keep me informed about the festival preparations, right?"
Gossip again. You ladies.
: "Ah, that's true..."
: "Aren't you going to be helping Monika today?"
: Of course! But I'm just helping her online. We didn't plan to meet up or anything."
So are you guys going on Discord and screensharing or something? How are you helping her design from here?
: "Ah, so it's just me and Yuri, then..."
There's more silence between us. Sayori stares in a random direction. Everything about her behavior is really uncharacteristic. I finally get to the point.
: "I just...wanted to see how you were doing. After you left on Friday. When something's wrong, you can't hide it from me! I know you too well. So..."
Sayori smiles, shaking her head.
: That's no good, Mitayo."
: This is all my fault. If I didn't get so weak and accidentally express my feelings...if I didn't make that stupid mistake...then you wouldn't have been worried about me at all. You wouldn't have come here. You wouldn't have even been thinking about me right now."
: But this...is just my punishment, isn't it? I'm getting punished for being so selfish. I think that's why the world decided to have you come over today. It just wants to torture me. Ehehe~"
We're here because we're worried about you, Sayori. It's that simple.
I grab Sayori by the shoulders.
: "What on Earth are you saying?! Are you listening to yourself right now? I know something happened to you. There's no other explanation for you to be like this. So tell me, already...! Until I know, I won't be able to stop thinking about it!"
Sayori gives me an empty smile.
: You really put me in a trap, Mitayo. But...you're wrong. Nothing happened to me. I've always been like this. You're just seeing it for the first time."
: "Seeing what? What are you talking about, Sayori?"
: Ehehe~ You're really just going to make me say it, aren't you, Mitayo? I guess I have no choice this time. The thing is..."
: Did you know that? Why do you think I'm late to school every day? Because most days, I can't even find a reason to get out of bed. What reason is there to do anything when I fully know how worthless I am?"
: Why go to school?"
: Why eat?"
: Why make friends?"
: Why make other people put their energy and caring to waste by having them spend it on me?"
: That's what it feels like. And that's why I just want to make everyone happy...without anyone worrying about me."
I don't have depression - or, at least, I don't think I do. From people very close to me, however, this seems to be a relatively accurate depiction of it.
I'm in shock. I can't even figure out how to respond. How is it possible that Sayori kept this from me the entire time that I've known her? Did she really want so badly for me to just not think about her?
: "...Why, Sayori?"
: "Why is it that you've never told me about this? It almost feels like I've been betrayed as your close friend. Because if I knew, I would have done everything I could to support you! Even if there's only so much that I could do...I would have tried a little bit harder to make every day a little better for you."
: "That's why I'm your friend! All you had to do was tell me!"
This does not seem like the most...helpful response. This isn't about you, Mitayo.
: You don't understand at all, Mitayo. Why do you think I didn't tell you? Because if I told you, then you would have to waste effort caring about me instead of doing important things. I don't want to be cared about. It's bittersweet, when people try to care about me. It feels nice sometimes. But it also feels like a bat being swung against my head."
: Ahaha~ that's why I wanted so badly for you to make friends with everyone else..."
: But then, I discovered something else, too. Seeing you make friends and get closer with everyone in the club...it feels like a spear going through my heart. So, that's why. That's why I decided the world just wants to torture me. Every path leads to nothing but hurt. Ahaha~"
The whole situation is really a huge catch-22 for Sayori.
: "You're right that I don't understand...I don't understand your feelings at all, Sayori. But I don't need to understand. Whatever it takes for me to help you stop hurting...that's what I'll do."
: No, Mitayo. There's nothing. Nothing at all. The only thing that could have helped is if everything could be like it always was. But I was selfish. I finally showed you what a horrible person I am."
: I made you join the literature club because I was selfish. And I was punished by my heart hurting in a way that I couldn't understand. And now you came here and I made you hurt, too. I'm just weak and selfish. That's all I am."
: And that's why I'm going to accept these punishments. Because I deserve every last one...!"
The game never mentions whether or not Sayori is seeing anyone for her depression. If she isn't, she really should - this is something she needs to get out with a professional, not someone as emotionally inexperienced as Mitayo.
Without thinking, I once again grab Sayori's shoulders. This time, I pull her into a tight embrace.
The background dissolves to black.
: "Sayori, I don't care if you feel selfish. I'm really happy that you convinced me to join the club. Seeing you every day makes it worthwhile enough. If I make friends with everyone else, then that's just a bonus. But please never underestimate how much I care about you. I wouldn't have it any other way."
Sayori isn't hugging me back. Despite my arms being wrapped around her, Sayori's arms remain at her sides. She starts sobbing next to my ear.
: No...don't do this...to me...please don't do this..."
Sayori barely manages to speak between her sobs. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. But all I want is for her to know that I care.
: "If you have it in you to call yourself selfish, then you have to let me be selfish too. No matter what it takes, I'll figure out what needs to change. I'll make these feelings go away. And if there's anything that you need me to do...then you'd better tell me. I'll get mad if you don't."
Me, me, me.
: I...don't know..."
: I don't know..."
: I don't know."
Gently, Sayori finally puts her arms around me in return.
: I don't know anything. It's all really scary...I don't understand any of my feelings, Mitayo...the only time I'm not feeling nothing is when I'm feeling pain."
: But...your hugs are so warm...and that's really scary, too."
Sayori lets me go. As she does so, I let her go as well.
: "The festival is tomorrow."
: "It's going to be fun, right?"
: "How would you like for me to spend it all with you?"
: "It's what I want. I promise."
: I...I think that would be nice, then..."
On the plus side, this seems like a positive step. Spending some time with Sayori - and just her - might be helpful for her. Just to let her know how much we care for her.
Sayori wipes her eyes. If I could spend the whole day here, I would.
: "Of all days, this has to be the one where I have other plans...Maybe I should cancel--"
: No, don't--! Please don't...if you did that...then I really wouldn't forgive you."
: "But...it's almost time for Yuri to meet me at my house...at the very least, do you want to come along and help out? It would be fun."
To my surprise, Sayori shakes her head.
: I'm sorry. I don't know if that would be very good for me today. You understand, right?"
I have a feeling that Yuri would be worse at making Sayori feel better than Mitayo is - and that's saying something.
: "Ah...it's...kind of hard for me to fully understand. But I'm trying my hardest."
: It's okay."
: I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
: "...Alright. I look forward to it."
I say goodbye to Sayori and exit her house. On the way home, I find myself still feeling uneasy. But it's hard for me to keep thinking about it when Yuri is about to come over, too...I think Sayori is right.
I should just focus on what's ahead of me!
Sayori is super important to us - it's important to let her know just how much.
Man, I'm glad that's settled. But now that that's taken care of, we have other fish to fry. Next time - Yuri comes over!